dolphin Controversial Dolphin Hunting Documentary, “The Cove”, makes debut in Japan

Bottlenose dolphin

Tokyo (AP) – “The Cove”, an award winning documentary which exposes a Japanese village engaging in the acts of hunting down and killing dolphins, has finally made its debut on Saturday after being delayed by angry nationalist protests.

Of the six cinemas which started showing the film, a small number completely sold out, and the others were just plain empty. Another 18 cinemas are scheduled to show the film at a later time.

At a popular art theater in Tokyo, Image Forum, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 protesters were seen brandishing Japanese flags, and were shouting out slogans against the film. The police were seen trying to stop shoving matches between the protesters and the small group of supporters for the film.

The film goers didn’t seem to take notice, and weren’t the least bit reluctant to go and see the film, as the first two showings at the theater were completely sold out.

One movie goer, Tomokazu Toshinai, had this to say about the film, “I didn’t know about dolphin hunting. Whether it’s TV or movies, Japanese have a right to know these things.”

In the last month, three other theaters which were scheduled to show the film canceled the showings, after some rather intense protests and telephone campaign against the documentary. The Nationalist groups are saying that the United States produced film is Anti-Japanese, has no bearing on reality, and is in cahoots with a militant anti-whaling organization.